(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


I feel self-centered in the tears I shed at hearing of my friend’s death. I’m sad for his wife and children. But mainly, I’m sad for myself. Marco Ciavolino was one of my greatest, most faithful encouragers for over three decades. He knew how to point out my strengths, and downplay my weaknesses.

Back in seminary, Marco was recognized by students and professors as “Mr. Creativity.” I naturally attached myself to him, and spent many a long night working with him on his creative projects. While I was the beneficiary, he would never fail to recall our collaboration as though my self-interest were some kind of faithfulness.

Over the years, I could count on him calling me within minutes of my emailing or texting him with a question. From what I hear, that’s how he was with everyone (see Marco’s obituary).

So yeah…. I’m sad at my loss.

God, make me more like him.

Today, I was thinking of a crazy invention. There’s nobody who celebrated my crazy inventions quite like Marco. I WANT Eternity. I must have Eternity. Only in Eternity does Marco laugh approvingly. Only in Eternity does Jesus celebrate His little brother.

AND THIS: SURPRISED BY PIZZA (One of my many good Marco memories)
Being stupid and forgetful has its charms. For instance, there was that Saturday afternoon many years ago….

I was working in my home office when the doorbell rang. I opened the front door, and there was the Domino’s guy, already removing a large pizza from his insulated delivery bag.

“Brad Hepp?”
“That’s me.”
“Here’s your pizza.”
“I didn’t order pizza.”
“Well, somebody ordered it for Brad Hepp and they already paid.”
“Okay. Thanks!”

I set the pizza on the kitchen counter, wondering how this could have happened. Did I dare take a bite? What if someone was trying to poison me?

That’s when I remembered a phone call I’d had just 30 minutes before with my buddy Marco, who lives up in Maryland. Like me, he is a webmaster. He was calling to share the great news that he had just sold a domain name for $10,000.

“Wow!” I told Marco. “Congratulations!” Then I mindlessly added, “Pizza for everyone!”

Oh yeah! Duh.

Sometimes you get what you ask for.

SUBSCRIBE HERE to receive my latest posts and commentary by email.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This